Ivana Monica’s Spring Semester 2014 experience at Solbridge University, Daejoen, South Korea

Annyeonghaseyo! I’m sure that almost all of you have heard this word before. Yes, annyeonghaseyo is one of the most used Korean word you could hear everywhere. After living for about 4 months in Korea, here is what I can share to all of you.

I study in SolBridge International School of Business in Daejeon, the 5th biggest city located in the heart of South Korea. Recently, SolBridge got an AACSB Accreditation. Of the approximately 16,000 business schools internationally, less than five percent have been AACSB accredited. SolBridge becomes the first private university outside Seoul and the Gyeonggi area to gain this recognition and the 14th university in Korea to be internationally recognized.

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 The first thing I noticed about SolBridge is the diversity of the students and the multiculturalism. Almost all the students are foreigners coming from all around the world like Russia, China, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam and Indonesia although there are many Korean students as well. What I really like about SolBridge is that every lecture is conducted in full English, because many of the professors are not Korean and many of the students are also not Korean. I often hear from my friends in other universities that their lecture is often conducted in Korean, because majorly the students and professors are all from Korea! It must be so hard to study if you don’t understand what they’re saying. But here in SolBridge, you don’t have to worry about language barrier because they all speak fluent English. The class is conducted in a more practical way rather than theoretical; we do a lot of business case analysis and presentations, business reports and also discuss international issues.

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As for the culture, Korean culture is really deep and well-practiced. Hierarchy is really important here, as you have to greet and speak in a formal way to your elders and bow respectfully when you meet them. You can’t talk back or argue with your elders, or in a bigger context, with your subordinate or boss. Whenever you’re in a public transportation, you must stand up and give a seat for the elders and pregnant woman first.  I think this kind of manner and respect is something that we don’t often see in Indonesia. The people and system here are very organized and neat. Public transportations such as buses and subways are always on time and on scheduled. Bicycles are everywhere and you can ride them from one stop to another. Walking is also very common here. In Indonesia, we rarely see people walk anywhere but here, people prefer to walk rather than ride their private car because the pedestrians are very clean and convenient.

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However, you must prepare yourself before coming here by learning a little bit of Korean. In Seoul, English is more common but in Daejeon, English is rarely seen and spoken. Shops, stores, and restaurants only have Hangeul written on them, and people (even shop sellers, young people, and taxi drivers) mostly cannot understand English at all. So it is better to at least be able to read Hangeul and learn simple useful phrases before coming here!

 

 

Written by :

Ivana Monica

Business

Exchange student at Solbridge University, Daejoen , South Korea (Spring Semester 2014)

From Binus University, Jakarta, Indonesia

 

 

Thanks to Ivana Monica for your sharing^^

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